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Published December 22 2011

Morast: This column could change your life

If you’re a movie fan, this column could change your life.

Literally.

Maybe not substantially, but you will be altered.

Guaranteed.

Why?

Because I can offer you a world of unlimited movies.

And I’m not talking about Netflix, where the virtually endless stream of movies is 81 percent content you don’t care to watch. Ever.

This is unlimited first-run movies.

In a movie theater.

Without having to wait in line for tickets.

It’s called MoviePass, and it’s one of those simple, cool ideas that makes you wonder why people haven’t thought of it before.

The basics: MoviePass,

which can be accessed at moviepass.com, charges a monthly fee to give people unlimited access to movies playing on the big screen.

If you’re a member, you go to the MoviePass website, select the film you want to see, and get a code/ticket to print out that grants entry into movies.

And that’s any film, whether it’s opening night, 3-D or a special engagement like a sneak preview.

Sounds cool, eh?

But there is a price. And it’s not cheap, unless you go to a ton of movies.

The monthly membership is $50. However, that price goes down if you sign up for three-month ($40) or 12-month ($30) packages.

The MoviePass PR folk didn’t respond to interview requests before I had to write this column, so there are a lot of questions I don’t have answers to – like, could I go to two movies every night of the year without drawbacks? And the fine people at the Fargo Theatre say they don’t know anything about MoviePass, which means this won’t work at the downtown movie house. Though, according to the MoviePass website, it will work at some of our area’s small-town theaters.

But if you’re a hardcore film fanatic who has to see every new movie that comes out, MoviePass could be the best thing for you since gift cards.

Look at this way: If you really wanted to see two movies every night of the week and the cost of a single ticket is $7, you’d be spending $98 a week or nearly $400 a month. MoviePass is $50 a month.

That could save you a lot of scratch.

And while it’s the newest – MoviePass is currently in a beta test mode – and maybe the coolest, it’s not the cheapest.

Marcus Theaters, which owns three of Fargo-Moorhead’s four movie houses, offers its own Magical Movie Passport, granting people access to unlimited movies in the Marcus theaters (Century 10, West Acres 14, Safari 7).

The Passport is only $25 a month, but you have to sign up and pay for one year upon joining. And if your math skills are as bad as mine, that’s $300.

Still, it’s cheaper than one year of MoviePass, which costs $360 for the 12-month discounted price. And, like MoviePass, Marcus’ Passport allows you to see any movie as many times as you want to. Just show up with your passport (appears to look just like a credit card) and a photo ID, and you’re given a ticket to the movie of your choice. Easy.

Granted, you’re tied to Marcus screens, but since 75 percent of our film exhibitors are owned by Marcus, that’s not a problem.

The real question is: Do you go to enough movies to justify either of these services? If the answer is yes, these passes will change your life.

Guaranteed.


Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com